Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Thankful.

I read this a few days ago and had to "copy" it to share. It's been said many times, by many people - but warrants repeating often. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on those things we are Blessed with - lots of people throughout history have remembered to do so when they faced horrors I cannot even imagine. This Thanksgiving I am again Blessed with a family I adore, a job I love (filled with MORE people I adore!), my health, the freedoms I am given as an American and many, many more (see 1000 Blessing list currently in progress in past posts). tammy

When our pilgrim forefathers came to this country, what they were up against was far worse than anything we face now. The first year, over half of their band of 110 died. Our pilgrim fathers dug seven times more graves for the dead than they built huts for the living. And yet during that same period is when they decided to carve out a day where they could say, "Thank you, Lord, for all of your benefits." One of their leaders, Edward Winslow, wrote of that first Thanksgiving in the fall of 1621: "And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving in 1863, in the middle of a terrible civil war. He said the country's blessings were due to the "ever watchful providence of Almighty God... No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy." And he asked for the "Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

There would be no...

choice of vocation.

days off.


football games.

choice of religion.

public education.

... if not for our Veterans. Thank you to all those that have and continue to serve this great country, and their families. I for one, am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My first pictures...

Well kiddos - if I'm going to ask you to put pics on your blogs.. I figured I'd better start myself. So here are the first pictures I've ever posted to my blog. Of Guess Who?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a few more Blessings...

Oldies radio stations
CD player in my car so I can listen to Elvis as much as I want
Air conditioning
Bette - a fantab-ulous dog trainer!
Police officers
Elementary teachers
Students who say Yes Sir and Yes Ma'am to our guests
{You made me very proud yesterday Seniors Ace Ace!}

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Helping students become life-long-writers!

Today I'll be helping my Desktop Publishing students set up Blogger accounts and creating (hopefully) their first posts! I hope this helps not only incorporate more literacy into my "workforce" classroom.. but encourages them to "journal" their life experiences!`

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blessings - cuatro dias

If you don't already read my Mom's blog - http://www.stitchinbythelake.blogspot.com/ you should.. she's a wonderful writer and wise beyond wise {though please don't tell her I admitted this, she'll think I've grown up or something}! She recently started listing 1000 Blessings and I love it so much I wanted to do it too. Now, it might take me a lot longer than her because she's a much more consistent blogger than I am - but I know reading her list/writing my list makes me feel good and reminds me of all the wonderful things in my world. If you join us, please let me know so I can read yours too!

85. Bifocals

84. Fresh bread

83. Backpacks

82. Friday nights at home

81. Blistex

80. Puff’s Plus

79. Sharon Jones {ISA instructor who is kind and patient with our kids with difficulties}

78. Pretty gift bags

77. Febreeze

76. Bath and Body lotions

75. Lamps

74. My Bluetooth earpiece

73. Sharing the joy of the first day of school with both students and teachers

72. Rain

71. Online shopping

70. Jordan – she has the most compassionate soul

69. Craft stores

68. Friends that pray for/with you even if your requests might seem trivial

67. Summer

66. Rotisserie chicken from Sam’s

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blessings - page three

If you don't already read my Mom's blog -http://www.stitchinbythelake.blogspot.com/ you should.. she's a wonderful writer and wise beyond wise {though please don't tell her I admitted this, she'll think I've grown up or something}! She recently started listing 1000 Blessings and I love it so much I wanted to do it too. Now, it might take me a lot longer than her because she's a much more consistent blogger than I am - but I know reading her list/writing my list makes me feel good and reminds me of all the wonderful things in my world. If you join us, please let me know so I can read yours too!

66. My excitement the night before school starts each year

65. City parks

64. “the South”

63. School bus drivers

62. Crape Myrtles

61. Donuts

60. Merrell sandals

59. Black slacks

58. Hallway neighbors

57. Crayons

56. Elementary teachers

55. Crushed ice

54. Parents

53. Hand-made presents from mom

52. Seniors’ excitement at the beginning of the school year

51. Iced tea

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Blessings {continued}

If you don't already read my Mom's blog -http://www.stitchinbythelake.blogspot.com/ you should.. she's a wonderful writer and wise beyond wise {though please don't tell her I admitted this, she'll think I've grown up or something}! She recently started listing 1000 Blessings and I love it so much I wanted to do it too. Now, it might take me a lot longer than her because she's a much more consistent blogger than I am - but I know reading her list/writing my list makes me feel good and reminds me of all the wonderful things in my world. If you join us, please let me know so I can read yours too!

50. Puppy obedience classes
49. Soft sheets
48. Hobby Lobby
47. Crushed ice
46. Old furniture
45. Clorax wipes
44. Texts from my brother
43. Tulips
42. Sam's Club
41. TV Guide
40. Lunch with my family
39. Rhodesian Ridgebacks
38. Blistex
37. Air conditioning
36. Food Network
35. The buzzer on my clothes dryer
34. Saturday phone calls to Mom & Dad
33. Colored staples
32. Inexpensive ideas for my classroom
31. Blogs!
30. Zappos
29. Cheese Dip
28. Aunt Joyce's lotion recipe
27. Iced tea
26. Crab legs


If you don't already read my Mom's blog - http://www.stitchinbythelake.blogspot.com/ you should.. she's a wonderful writer and wise beyond wise {though please don't tell her I admitted this, she'll think I've grown up or something}! She recently started listing 1000 Blessings and I love it so much I wanted to do it too. Now, it might take me a lot longer than her because she's a much more consistent blogger than I am - but I know reading her list/writing my list makes me feel good and reminds me of all the wonderful things in my world. If you join us, please let me know so I can read yours too!

25. Remote controls
24. Crushed ice
23. Puppy breath
22. Birthday cake
21. Finding "old memories" when unpacking from a move
19. Living in Arkansas
18. Freedom
17. Hair color
16. National Parks
15. Dark sunglasses
14. Pedicures
13. Sonic
12. Antibiotics
11. Digital cameras
10. Small towns
9. Christmas lights
8. Elvis songs
7. Public Education
6. Dr. Pepper
5. Netflix
4. Boats
3. iPhones
2. Sandals
1. Principals with a sense of humor

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

It seems I can never find the words I want to say - when I want to say them... but thankfully, others allow us to quote them. Happy Mother's Day Momma!!

"My Mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune."
~Graycie Harmon

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I happened upon one of my favorite movies on the television this afternoon (I have it on DVD, but can't resist my favs when I channel surf past them!) and got to thinking about how many times I''ve seen some of the ones I love so much. Here are a few I love enough to watch over and over... most - too many times to count!

(disclaimer: the order listed does not necessarily represent the order of love in my heart : )

Purple Rain (today's inspiration)
Gone With The Wind
Look Who's Coming to Dinner
Point Break
Yours, Mine and Ours (original - remake's ok too)
The Sound of Music
Pretty Woman
Rambo (all)
Terminator (all)
Batman (all)
Who's Got Mail

I think this is probably my top, ughh 17/18ish... I think I"ll work on completing this list in case I forget some when I'm old(er) - look for more to come!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow we'll return to school. Those of us that aren't graduating in May (some won't actually graduate, but will "complete their eligibility" as my husband says of those that pretend they are receiving a diploma when they walk across that stage, plus underclassmen and us crazy teachers that return year after year : ) have NINE weeks left until summer break.
Nine weeks seems like eternity to me right now, AND it seems like a split second. There are projects to complete, projects to plan for next year, presentations to work on and present, scheduling for next year, spring activities (banquets, track meets, prom, graduation, etc.), and the dreaded "packing of" the lab. And all this has to happen with teenagers that have basically lost their minds!

Similar to the week before Spring Break, the last nine-weeks of the school year is a mixture of trying to "take care of business" while living with anticipation similar to the week before Christmas the WHOLE TIME! I'm looking forward to this time.. but can certainly use your prayers!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Forts in the Living Room

A few weeks ago I got a text from my daughter that said "I remember nothing about the plot of this movie.. I remember lots of forts in the living room though"! (referring to the movie Twister, which was a "scary" movie : ). And it made me warm and fuzzy inside to think of her fond memories. It also helped me put the incident that happened the day before into perspective.

The same darling of mine was involved in a minor car accident. It was her first, but regardless of how many times it happens to you it's scary. She arrived in town after a couple of weeks at school and headed off to our favorite Chinese restaurant to pick up dinner for the family. When turning out of the restaurant across busy traffic, a car she didn't see coming and her car collided. Regardless of blind spots or speeding - the fault would be hers. Fault? Who cares - everyone was uninjured, vehicles barely bumped.. so you won't believe what happened next.

The passenger of the other vehicle - a woman, approached my daughter's window and began calling her vile, filthy things. When my daughter called me, she was obviously shaken, but held it together until she told me about the verbal abuse of this woman. My son and I headed to the scene and that entire LONG 10 minutes I thought about how I would handle myself when I arrived. Oh, I knew she was ok - as were the others involved, but I was MAD. How could anyone talk to a teenage girl like that - how dare her scare MY baby that way! I was out for blood.

My family would probably tell you I don't have the calmest of tempers. The classic red-headed curse - it didn't come from my parents, so it must be that - right? And I would love to deny the inadequacy in my character, but honesty is not something I have a problem with - so I won't. What did come from my parents was a looonnnggg time of trying to teach me to be better. To be better than to react like I wanted, to be better than someone that would scare a young woman like that, to be better than let my emotions get the best of me. Thankfully, most of the time this takes over and keeps the fury of my emotions at bay, and thankfully, that day it did again. The worst thing I did was give a nasty "teacher" look to the woman that was so ugly to my daughter, not perfect, but a lot of control for this red-head out to protect her baby.

Thankfully, my daughter is fine, the people in the other vehicle weren't injured and hopefully my children and I continued to learn the lesson of being better. As a mother, I am so thankful to my parents and so very hopeful that I've taught my children as they taught me. The woman that spoke in such an ugly manner to my daughter was a mother. I pray she learned a lesson - or her children won't have the benefit of learning how to control one's behavior - how to be not just "better", but how to be the kind of human being we all should want to be. So here's my hat off to my parents and all parents out there who have given their children memories of "better" behavior... and of forts in the living room.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I've been a bit lazy today (which is above the REAL lazy I was all weekend). Kitchen, laundry, a bit of cooking.. but mainly playing with my new phone! While I've been researching every free "app" I can find, I've had the pleasure of watching several people say really nasty things about President Obama and the Democratic party on Facebook. Now let me preface this post with this: I've witnessed the same nasty things from folks opposed to Republican agendas. So here's my rant:

WHY do people believe it necessary to say such nasty things about elected officials? And more importantly GROUPS of elected officials? I know, I know - that's a perk of being American. Free Speech. And I believe in free speech - ask anyone that knows me : ) But I'm having a real problem with the not-so-pleasant things people say about INDIVIDUALS because of their jobs... especially when that job serves the public. Think about it - police officers and teachers get a lot of bashing too... and it seems that it doesn't matter how good a person or how good your intentions are if you enter into one of these career fields you'd better be prepared to be judged accordingly.

I don't believe I've ever heard anyone express feelings that computer programmers are wicked (though some programmers write damaging computer viruses), or that real estate agents are evil (though some of us have known one that wasn't completely honest with buyers), or that restaurant servers are thieves (I'm sure there are a few that don't claim all their tips on their tax returns), or... I guess you get my point.

So today, regardless of how you feel about the healthcare reform bill... please pray for ALL our elected officials.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break

Last Tuesday I woke to a fleeting moment of thought that told me it was Friday. It wasn't. UGGGHH - it was TUESDAY! I drug myself out of bed, went through the morning routine and headed off to the sacred halls of Hot Springs High School. As I drove through this quirky town that I love (up and down a few hills, past the horses exercising on the racetrack, through a bit of civilization), I realized it was finally here. Spring.. The re-awakening of the Earth here in the south is something like this: Daffodils bright yellow faces, birds singing happily in the morning, and Tulip trees blooming have that familiarity I can count on every year that means HOME and warm, sunny days that are cool enough you can sit on the deck and soak up all the rays you can stand... and if all that's not enough - there is SPRING BREAK!!

All week - I've counted the days (probably the only thing that kept me positive on that awful Friday morning that turned out to be a TUESDAY). My students have counted the days. We've tried to stay focused and then suddenly we're talking excitedly about what someone's doing over the break. Even those of us that are not traveling - those that are planning mundane tasks for the week such as "spring cleaning", yard work and tending gardens - we're all so excited we want to discuss it with others. We've talked about the closets we'll clean - the seeds we'll plant - the naps in the hammock we'll take... it's a re-newal of sorts. As the Pagans celebrate the end of the lethargy of winter with Ostara (or Eostre) and the farmers (or those of us that play one in the city) prepare their fields for planting - the students young and old REJOICE! An entire week off! No class, no homework, nothing to read but enchanting novels, no alarms to slam, no clothes to iron.. I almost want to schedule the days in my day planner to guarantee every minute is used meaningfully.

My cousin (thanks Stephen) tells me I have the farm families to thank for this incredible week of rejuvenation. That school children in times past needed this week to help their families prepare that years' crops. This makes me curious.. were these families as excited about the week as I am? Were they thankful for the family time they would be spending with their loved ones? Or just looking at the week as the beginning of the hard labor of the season? I am getting some family time this spring break too. My children will both be home, Jeremy has to work - but will be around some. I am looking forward to spending some time with Jordan, and hanging out with both of them in the evenings.. without the pressures my "normal life" (teaching can't really be considered normal by most people - but it's MY normal). I think regardless of what you are DOING with your family time - planting, resting or vacationing, the most important thing is that you're doing it together. So here's to Spring Break and family time - but most importantly to Spring in the SOUTH!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prince Charming

An old friend found me on Facebook the other day (so glad Susan!) and we began to catch up. As I typed her the story of meeting, and falling in love with BJ, I realized I should document it here. I hope you enjoy it...

...about 10 years ago, I found myself a single mother with two beautiful children depending entirely on me. After a not-so-pleasant marriage, the peaceful atmosphere of our home was worth whatever I had to do to keep it that way. So, I was pretty convinced that I would not consider marrying again until my children were grown, if ever.

However, one of my best friends from high school Sherri, has always been a hopelessly romantic matchmaker and though she deemed me a "man-hater", she was convinced I had to be lonely when the kids were gone. She just HAPPENED to know a guy that she really liked, that was much like me (so she said). He had given up on women, but had a great personality and would be sooo much fun to hang out with... when the kids were gone - lol. Now, most of you won't know Sherri, but let me tell you - when she gets something in her head - there is no convincing her otherwise.. and she will drive you NUTS until you take some action. She had given me his email address (so I'm sure she'd given him mine) and asked me (bugged me) often about shooting him a note. Finally, I had enough and emailed him. I explained that I'd known Sherri for many years and that she was like a sister to me. Therefore, it was ok for me to tell him what a nag she could be : ). I explained that if we would tell her we were having a torrid affair, it would shut her up and we could make up some argument later and that would be that. He emailed me back laughing and we began to talk.

We spent the next six months discussing life, love, politics, children, music... I don't know anything we didn't talk about. And we were both blatantly honest. I mean, there was no interest in becoming romantically involved so why not? LOL! We became fast friends, even talking about people we dated (I said I wasn't going to get serious, I didn't say I was going to be bored ;-). Finally the stars aligned and we planned to meet for dinner. When we decided they were gonna kick us out of the restaurant (The Brickhouse, for those of you that are natives.. what a great place, huh?), we went to my apartment and sat by the lake with marqaritas and talked until the sun came up.

Somewhere in the conversation, BJ mentioned he had two tickets to see Eric Clapton (I think the next week, but it could have been two.. that part's fuzzy : ) and asked if I'd like to go. It was during finals week, so I told him I couldn't - ughhh, so sadly.. one of the many things we had found in common was a love of the Blues. I was passing up Clapton in Memphis, with a great guy? Hell no. Someone was gonna have to give my finals for me. I called him in a few days and told him I'd make arrangements and he said "you're on".

We talked all the way to Memphis (you would THINK we would run out of conversation by now, and maybe I talked all the way to Memphis, lol.. I'll have to ask him that sometime). Clapton was amazing, and walking down Beale soaking up the music and that wonderful smell of Memphis.. the city, the river, the excitement... I fell head over heals. He was a great friend, he was a gentleman, I felt incredibly safe with him - and he made me laugh, continuously.

I spent every minute the kids weren't home that summer with him, and it never seemed enough time. That was the last summer I didn't work almost the whole "vacation", and I felt like my high school students when it came time to go back to school. I always look forward to the beginning of the school year, but that year it was hard. I had gotten used to sleeping 'till noon, layin by the pool 'till he could get away from the store, the evenings went by too fast, then I would start the cycle all over... waiting for the next day. (Oh, I read a TON that summer too.. Heaven!) Sounds like one of those high school summer loves doesn't it? It felt like that! Crazy.. I don't know about everywhere else, but in Hot Springs.. summer is intense. The population seems to double. Fast boats. An occasional good band. Warm nights and cool water.. The Spa was the setting of a few young summer loves for me, and then the place where I fell in love with BJ.

Eventually, I sealed our fate by introducing him to my children. I'm not sure who fell in love first. But it was definitely mutual. He loved spending time with them and they loved him. He sincerely wanted to be with them, and they knew it. Always trust children and dogs, they are great judges of character. Wisdom from Tammy.

So one day we loaded the kids up, drove to Memphis and got married. (I'm pretty sure it was the first time Beej had been in the Shelby County Courthouse that he wasn't handcuffed : ). And that was the beginning of the rest of my life. The next years were a whirlwind. Ballgames, concerts and yearbooks. Tennis matches and homework. BB King and Beale. The kids still don't love the Blues like we do, but they appreciate it.. and they love Memphis - and their Dad. So that's the story of how I fell in love with Prince Charming.. I miss the old days of lazy summers and weekends in Memphis, but they'll come again when this crazy ride we're on now slows down. And I'm glad I'll be able to spend that time with BJ, aka Prince Charming.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time to move?

I was born in Monticello, Arkansas. In addition to Monticello, I've lived in Benton, Dardanelle, Fordyce, Heber Springs, Hot Springs, Ozark, Pine Bluff and Russellville (if I've remembered them all...). I've lived in Arkansas all of my life, and I've never wanted to live anywhere else. Until this week.

I teach in a high school building with fabulous architecture and history. Hot Springs High School was built to desegregate Central and Langston high schools in the late 1960's. The "modern-industrial" style is cool in an art deco-y way and there are amazing, large, ceiling-high murals painted by students in the early 1980's. Even the heating/air unit was state-of-the-art. In the late '60s.. not so much now.

The high temperature in Hot Springs on January 8 this year was 27. Yesterday it was 68. The old heating/air unit will not change the temperature in a building that size in that short amount of time. It was about 130 in my lab yesterday. I didn't have a thermometer, but I"m sure that's close. In Maybell, Colorado the high temp on January 8 was 5. Yesterday it was 28. I wonder which way an old unit performs better? Horrible cold and almost freezing for the high's? Or a 41 degree difference in about 10 days? I'm thinkin about moving to Maybell. At least until menopause is over.

Friday, January 15, 2010

When Did My Kids Get So Old????

I got to spend a few hours yesterday afternoon with my good friend Janette and her adorable 18-month-old, Brynna. While Janette and I visited and did some shopping I watched Brynna do all those adorable things children that age do.. smiles, frowns, first words and other ways she communicates (sometimes a girl's just gotta cry to get across she's not happy, right?!), and that absolutely no way to explain-completely Angelic-napping in her carseat :-) And on my way home my thoughts wandered to my own children, as they always do - and I was shocked for a second at how old they are!

Now I've been taking medication for chronic back pain for about 3 years (more to come about that later- I've had a recent 2nd surgery and am MUCH better!) - but I SWEAR I remember every birthday!! When Jeremy turned 16 (Oh My!), when Jordan turned 16 (No WAY!).. then Jeremy turned 18, then Jeremy turned TWENTY-ONE, and then Horrors... my baby turned 18 too. *sigh* I was always a bit melancholy - when these "big" birthdays hit, but VERY proud of the young adults they've become. And I've written some in the past about them... but I want to tell you about what they are doing at the moment.

Jeremy (21) is working for a local school district in their technology department. He loves the work, his co-workers, bosses and the LEARNING!! What a Blessing it is to watch his eyes light up when he tells me (often way over my head) about his day! He even has cute/funny stories about children when he happens to be working in a classroom and hears something really cure (mostly elementary kids - He reminds me that kids really DO say the darn-dest things!). Jeremy's wonderful girlfriend Catherine has begun her first semester at UALR (transferred from our local community college) and is majoring in elementary education. She is a doll and I'm very excited about her pursuing a career as an educator because she has everything it takes to make a great one - and we all know how much we need great teachers!!

Jordan (18) is beginning her second semester at UALR as an Anthropology major. Jordan maintained a 4.0 last semester (Raise The Roof!!) and is paying her way through school with her brains and hard work {ACT scholarship}. Jordan seems to really love college and I am SO glad! She is taking a couple of fascinating courses this semester and I'm really looking forward to hearing about them... forensic anthropology (I am a huge, HUGE Bones fan.. beginning with Kathy Reichs novels), archeology of ancient civilizations (there is a great ancient Egyptian Pharaoh exhibit in Little Rock right now I can't wait to see with her), and Judo (I have no desire to ever 'hip toss' someone.. but I think it will be cool to hear about) :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Start...

2010? Are you kidding me? What happened to the 90's? Heck, what happened to the 80's?!?

Time does sneak by - and I'm not one for resolutions - but I'm going to make an attempt to be a regular blogger this year. If you look back to the beginning of my life as a blogger, you'll see I didn't do so good for awhile - LOL a LONG while ; ) then I used my personal blog to post some things for the final class in my Master's program last semester and it made me think that I'd REALLY like to be a regular writer. I hope to write about being an educator.. a mother.. a human being. Welcome 2010!